By John Pring in Disability News Service.
A train operator will this summer start running mainline rail services that wheelchair-users will not be able to access… with the apparent blessing of the government.
It is believed to be the first time for many years that a scheduled mainline train service will run without any provision for passengers who use wheelchairs.
And it comes just days after the Equality and Human Rights Commission was said to be considering legal actionagainst the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.
That threat emerged after rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway issued “grossly insulting” guidance to station staff that said they should not attempt to place “persons of reduced mobility (PRM)” on a train “if there is a possibility of delaying the service”.
Now train operator TransPennine Express (TPE) has decided to run services that will be out of bounds to wheelchair-users.
TPE is part of the transport giant FirstGroup, which in January 2017 was found by the Supreme Court to have breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act through its “first come, first served” policy on the use of wheelchair spaces on buses.
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